Starting a Carpet Cleaning Business in London
Carpets accumulate a lot of dirt with time. In offices, there are always people walking up and down at all hours. Things are dropped and spilt all the time. If the weather outside is inclement, as it often is in London – the signs will surely show up on the carpet! On the domestic from, whether you’re talking about a bedsit or a mansion, things are even more complicated. Dust, spillages that cause all sorts of stains. Dirt gathering in dark corners and under furniture; the amount of gunk on carpets is just amazing. While some people can’t be bothered to give their carpets a thorough clean, usually making just a quick sweep of visible areas, then replacing the carpet after some time. That’s an option if you can afford it, but there’s another option that works just as well. Cleaning even a small rug is no easy task by any means, but there’s an easy way out. Get a professional in to do the job! For a reasonable fee, your carpets get a new lease of life, and your home or office feels and looks refreshed!
Put it Down on Paper
As the saying goes, “If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.” Writing down a business plan helps you get a clear picture of what will be involved in starting up your carpet cleaning business. This will include the costs of purchasing equipment and supplies, setting targets in terms of growth, getting the required training and certifications and other legal issues.
A business plan helps you plan for future growth and expansion. A simple search on the internet will yield lots of great sites and apps that ease the process of creating a plan to suit your particular needs. It will help you identify your market and find your niche. Most successful businesses are those that identify a need and find a way to provide a product or service that fulfils that need.
Find your niche and fill it well! The carpet cleaning market is huge, but this also means that competition is fierce. Having a targeted plan will get you off to a better start than fumbling about in the dark.
You can easily start small and grow with time and experience, as the guys at CleanCarpets.co did. Your immediate neighbourhood is a good place to get started. This will mostly involve domestic cleaning. People who know you are more likely to trust you and give you work.
As you learn the ropes, you can them expand - don’t forget, the best advertising is word of mouth. Do a great job and your customers are bound to recommend your services to friends and colleagues. Social media presence is a must in this day and age, and posting “Before, On The Job and After” pictures and videos, perhaps with happy customers exclaiming on the job, is a great way to attract attention. Set up a simple website giving details of your services and your location.
Branded merchandise such as t-shirts, caps, work clothing such as overalls and so on give you presence and a professional look. Another great way to build your customer base is to give incentives to your existing customers. Offer them a discount on the next job if they refer customers to you. Give them discount vouchers and flyers to give to friends and colleagues. In the beginning, you may be alone, or perhaps with a partner or friend or two. The products and equipment you require to start are quite basic and can be bought at any supermarket. As you grow, however, you must register a limited liability company. As the name suggests, this protects you from personal liability as it is a legal entity in itself. Having a registered company also gives potential clients the impression that you are professional.
Insure Your Business!
As with any business, insurance is obligatory. You work will involve going into peoples’ homes and offices in different locations, probably driving around in a van. Two types of insurance that are vital for a cleaning business are Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.
Professional Indemnity insurance covers you against claims made by customers or employees. This typically involves customers dissatisfied with the work done or employees having issues with working conditions. This insurance pays invoices should a customer refuse to pay you and also covers your company should a customer make claims for damage caused at their premises by yourself or your employees. Your business is protected from disruptions in the day to day running of operations. Public Liability insurance protects you from claims made by third parties against you for personal injury or property damage.As your business grows and you take on employees, you are obliged to take out Employers Liability insurance.
As you grow, you must refer to your business plan from time to time to check that you are meeting your targets. The plan may need amendments as you go along. This is normal; unforeseen circumstances do happen and you should plan for them and react as necessary. Reward yourself and employees for meeting targets on or before time.
This is the single most important thing in anything you do. When you’re enjoying yourself, it’s no longer a hard slog and you can’t wait for the day to end so you can put your feet up and enjoy a cuppa. Time just flies! People who enjoy their work are happier, more satisfied in life and do better work, so have fun!